graph of it all. It’s awesome what these machines and what our drivers are capable of – it’s pretty neat.”

can be better served. It’s not so much them coming in with a list from their framer; it’s more ‘Can you tell me what I need to build a house?’ It’s a lot of extra work staying on top of industry changes but it’s worth it.” “Energy efficiency has really touched every category of building supplies,” he continued. “Right now I’m trying to make room out in the yard for two-by- eight precut studs and 92 and a quarter and 104 and a quarter because the new regulations put in place in the city of Vancouver require overall R22 on exterior walls, which means they need bigger studs to accommodate the higher amount of insolation. On a daily basis we’re adapting our inventory to reflect what is demanded by our customer base. We let that drive what’s in our inventory, the customer’s needs. Exterior envelope engineers or designers for newly coded homes are often building to improved industry standards, such as Passive House or even LEED, and we’re invested in maintaining our capability in supplying these builders of the future.” As much as one of his feet is firmly planted in the past alongside the footprints of his great- grandfather and every Davidson and Galer who ever worked a day at POCO Building Supplies, Chris is always ready to move forward. “Our core trading area remains the Tri-Cities – that’s where we actively solicit most of our business. We’re trying to move that circle outwards and we certainly follow any of our existing customers like contractors anywhere they work. And if new business comes looking for us, if someone needs something, a product, that we specialize in, we’re willing to follow that business wherever it may take us.”

But it is not always so hands-on at POCO Building Supplies. Chris explained that their list of online regulars is growing by the day. “We’re happy to do business through email alone and, quite frankly, it’s worked well for us over the years. I can recall several major projects like deck packages being sold to cus- tomers whowe never see or speak to – it’s basically just quoted and shipped. These are customers who typically access online resources and know exactly what they need. It’s that kind of flexibility that doing business in the Lower Mainland gives you. If a customer wants a quote on something you don’t have on-hand, you can usually get it in your hands within 24 hours. It doesn’t matter who the vendor is, we’ll get it. The Big-box stores just aren’t set up this way. Special orders come with so much processing for them that it becomes inconvenient and often unnecessarily expensive for the customer. People love to take advantage of how fast we can get a special order in their hands – they appreciate the value there.” More and more, Chris explained, special orders consist of energy efficient products and materials that meet the Earthquake Safety and BC Building Code standards. “Everything is systems-based now. Everything is more tech- nical, more carefully estimated. The introduction of reg- ulations regarding seismic engineering has also changed how we build residentially. The complex systems, the liner hangers, the engineered wood products that go into building a home now are essential to understand for us so that the designers and contractors who are our customers



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